by Kristine Ma

what i mean is i’d like to be a firefly, a lavender cloud tipped with gold, liquid indigo. and what i mean is that i’d like warm hands cupped around me, fingers reaching towards the sky, 
       hands dyed in my color. 
what i mean is i’d like to be made of glass,
transparent for the ones who don’t understand metaphors. to be translucent,
       swathed in auspicious blue clouds,
to be cradled in afternoon sunlight,
       tips more bronze than gold. 
what i mean is that i’d like to be as languid as a canvas,
brushstrokes even,     delicate lace spilling across pages like rain. 
and what i mean is i’d like to listen to its quiet drumming against my window. 
what i mean is that would you like to dance? i want to dance with you 
       in the rain under the amber glow of streetlights
across rain-glossed cobblestone and feel your rain-kissed hands in mine,
the scent of rain in your laughter.
       what i mean is sometimes i don’t mean anything.
       i’d just like to whisper a secret, 
a raindrop in the crook of your umbrella. 
what i mean is i’d like to become jupiter and venus,
and write of the differences between aphrodite and ares,
marbled athena, lonely artemis,
      to be able to fill these empty hands. 
what i mean is i’d like to become an unspoken prayer on parted lips,
wishes on shanghai balconies,
memories strung across tokyo skylines. 
what i mean is i’d like to be suspended,               a thought mid-dream 
like how i started,
     a metaphor in a poem. 



Kristine Ma is a high school junior at Detroit Country Day School. She received two national gold medals from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Kristine is an editor for her school’s literary magazine, “Spectrum. When she isn’t writing, she can be found playing piano, dreaming, and watching anime.